and so it shall be

Looking out my window this morning, I see the world outside beginning to wake up with signs of spring everywhere. From the crocus, to the aspen saplings, the change of season is evident at every turn. It is always amazing how the date changes and nature simply knows it’s time to wake up from the winter slumber – without an alarm clock!

I came to dislike alarm clocks many, many years ago. Perhaps it was started by the obnoxious way my dad would wake us up during the days of high school (is there really a good way to wake up a slumbering teenager?).  No mercy… just 2 seconds to wake up and get out of bed. Then it was a scramble to share the bathroom with my mom and three sisters. Thank goodness my parents had the foresight to have a boys and girls bathroom or I could have been extremely traumatized!

Now my alarm of choice is my mind, telling me it’s time to get up. If I have an early morning plane to catch I will set the alarm on my phone to a calming harp sound just to make sure. The alarm-free method works, for the most part, in starting my day in a much calmer fashion. Today I wanted to talk about “breathing room” because it’s the days where we feel like we have the room to actually breathe and enjoy the majority of the moments that can be the most fulfilling and certainly the least stressful.

Recently, I put together some materials to do a workshop. During the course of preparing for it, I discovered a time management tool called the Pomodoro Method. The Pomodoro method is named after the kitchen tomato timer – tomato in Italian is pomodoro. You set a timer for 25 minutes and focus completely on the task at hand.  Once the timer goes off, give yourself a five-minute break. Then reset the timer to 25 minutes and repeat the process again and again. It’s a great way to break yourself from sitting still for too long.

The key is not to let anything but the task you are focused on come into your consciousness. That’s right, turn off the cell phone, don’t read your email, or allow any other distractions to come into your mind.  Simply just focus completely on the project at hand that must get done and do it.  I love to practice what I teach. I gave the Pomodoro method a try several times and it is amazing! Being a bit hyperactive myself, it was challenging at first. I think it actually helped focus on my work ethic in sitting still because I simply didn’t allow the shiny ball syndrome to get in my way.

It is okay to simply say “sorry, can’t talk right now” to someone who walks in your office without even looking up. Let them know you are on a deadline and would love to talk with them when you are done.  If they insist because “it’s important” remind them that it’s only another few minutes before you will be available. When you get good at the 25-minute stretch, try to go 50 minutes and then take a ten-minute break. 

See if this change of time increases or decreases your focus. Time management is indeed something each and everyone one of us can do.  It’s not so much about managing the time as honoring the precious time we have been given, as we have been talking all about this month. Bottom-line is that by being more focused on particular tasks and completing them, it can give us the breathing room we might be missing in our life.  

Breathing room that is being taken up with worrying about deadlines or all the other details in our business that requires our attention. I invite you to take a look at getting further enjoyment from your moments knowing that what must get done will. With so much on our plate sometimes it can seem overwhelming.  I have most definitely learned along my way that jam packing your day doesn’t always lead to the productivity – in fact usually the opposite happens and you can find yourself spinning your wheels.

Wishing you a great week ahead with time stop and start smelling the flowers that may start appearing in your path. 

Here’s to Your Successes and Victories,

- Cheri

P.S.  Hope you enjoy todays picture, shot by my son Travis.  It is the latest of his new work - see more of his rock balance sculpture at truskus.com

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